I mentioned earlier this week that we had the opportunity to travel to Las Vegas with my husband for a work conference.
We were traveling with a toddler, and I can't say that we loved it. We really LOVE to travel. Beaches, mountains, big cities--you name it. But Vegas just wasn't it for us. There are tons of people traveling with babies and kids, so it is definitely doable if you're feeling brave!
Based on our experience traveling to Las Vegas with a toddler, here are my recommendations:
1. We stayed at the Bellagio. It was great. Nice place for families. We all LOVED what my toddler called the "waterfall show" which are the Bellagio Fountains. It was beautiful, mesmerizing, and lots of fun. It's free, and it's a must!
2. At the Bellagio, we also enjoyed the pool area. In the mornings, there are plenty of chairs available, and it's nice to go out before it gets too hot and your toddler gets too cranky! There are around five pools at the Bellagio, so were were able to swim in the one that was shaded by the tall buildings for the majority of the morning.
3. The Bellagio also features an indoor botanical garden and conservatory. This is a fun and free place to walk around. There are lots of pretty colors and distractions for your little one!
4. Across the street from the Bellagio is the Paris hotel. Like the Bellagio, the Paris also keeps it classy. This is another fun place to walk around indoors. For an additional charge, you can ride to the top of the Eiffel Tower which we planned on doing but never did.
5. Next door to the Bellagio is Caesar's Palace. My toddler and I enjoyed walking through the air-conditioned shops and sitting and watching the fish in the indoor aquarium (next to the Cheesecake Factory). We did this twice, and it was free and entertaining. For older kids, there is also a free show there at the aquarium each day. It was a little too scary for us, though!
7. We ventured to the Flamingo to see the wildlife habitat. It was free and worthwhile. There was just a lot of construction in the area which made the walk a bit annoying, especially with a stroller.
8. Circus Circus has a free circus show multiple times daily. We drove our rental car down the strip to Circus Circus, but it was honestly just so run-down and shabby that we turned around and went back to the Bellagio.
9. The Mirage has a free volcano show in the evenings, but we never made it.
10. Other free activities on our list were the Silverton Aquarium, M&M World, and the Treasure Island show, but we ran out of time since so much travel time is needed between activities.
Here's the thing. When you look at a map of the Las Vegas strip, it is very deceiving. It's not like walking through Chicago or New York. It takes forever to walk anywhere. Even next door. And once you reach your destination, you are going to walk forever again once you're inside. Especially with a stroller. Having a rental car in Las Vegas is helpful, and parking isn't as bad as you might think. And it's not exactly Disney World... be prepared to be bombarded with several non-kid-friendly things while you're there. I would not recommend taking school-aged children or teenagers.
Two other things really helped when we traveled to Vegas with a toddler:
1. We went to Walgreens to stock up on drinks and snacks. Then we asked the hotel to provide a mini-fridge for storing milk for our little one. This made life a lot easier.
2. We requested a room with two queen-sized beds. Our toddler slept very peacefully in one of them which made the experience much easier.
Overall, be prepared to walk a lot. If your kids are between the ages of 4 and 18, I wouldn't take them to Las Vegas. Go somewhere else. There are better options.